GameX: Helping People Find Games They Will Love

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Cathal O’Sullivan, CEO of GameX, spoke to us about the gaming industry, achieving goals and how his startup helps people find new games they'll enjoy:

Describe GameX in 50 or less words.

GameX is a cross platform recommendation engine for the gaming industry. Helping gamers find the perfect game and helping developers find the perfect gamer. It works by recommending the perfect game through the gamers gaming history. The engine is 100% unbiased and uncurated. GameX rewards gamers who discover and explore unknown treasures of the gaming industry. Built for gamers by gamers.

Why did you decide to pursue your own dreams rather than someone else’s?

I’ve always been someone who wanted to work for myself. It was just instinctive. It’s hard to explain, it’s just in my DNA. As I was growing up, I remember a few of my old employeers saying the same thing: “Cathal, you will never be able to work for anyone. You will be your own boss”.

I keep that with me to push myself to learn as much as I possibly can, to take in advice from everyone I possibly can.

Describe your typical working day from coming to the office to leaving it.

I get the dart into Tara Street from Greystones. I then walk to the NDRC with a good quality podcast on. I usually come in a little later and leave later in the evening. During the day I work on day to day tasks, connecting with people, discussing updates with the team, just trying to achieve as much as I can.

Oh, lunch in Mannings Bakery is usually on the table and maybe a pint after work if things have been good!

In 7 years from now: How did your startup change the world?

The vision for GameX is simple enough. We want to bring back the idea of finding games people will truly love. This means playing games that you could look back at, at any point of your life and smile. There are are some amazing gems within the gaming industry and I want to tell the world about them.

We are going to stop the curated industry where the AAA companies are only getting bigger whilst the smaller gaming studios are struggling.

In what ways do you measure your success and how do you make sure you don’t lose track?

Being someone with ADD, making sure I don’t lose track was difficult to teach myself. What I do is easy to start and I think could help a lot of startups. I have a goals list of what I should be achieving week on week, month on month to allow for success. Following these metrics makes me focus on what’s important.

So I measure my success on the goals I hit each week. It’s easily managed and gives you clear focus for further success.

Already pivoted? Did customers use GameX like you imagined it in the beginning?

We originally designed the system as a large database for everyone to find the best games. The problem was that it was way too broad. We tried to develop the site that would be used by core gamers, regular gamers, parents etc. but in trying to satisfy all the users needs it satisfied none.

So from our research, people are using the recommendation engine the right way and what we wanted to do. To make it fun, to encourage discovery and to be unbiased.

Bootstrapped or financed: What fuels your startup now and what will in the future?

I originally developed GameX with a fellow student in my third year of College. We put out our first old alpha version 9 months ago. Since then we went through New Frontiers Phase 2, the NDRC and current recipients of the CSF. So that would be fueling our business at the moment.

We’re a large enough team so we definitely are bootstrapping a lot of the areas within the business.
In future, we hope to collaborate with the likes of Microsoft, Sony, Apple and Valve so that we can scale to our vision.

With ferocious competition and a booming trend to build new companies: How do you make sure you don’t get lost in the shuffle?

I have the help of some amazing mentors but I think having a solid idea, a passionate team and measured, achievable goals then it’s pretty difficult to not get lost.

What do you look for in team members?

  1. That they know the gaming industry.
  2. They believe in the vision.
  3. High skill level in their area of expertise.
  4. Ability to question decisions and think outside of the box.

Why would a talent join your team?

  1. They want to be a part of an innovative team.
  2. Help build a scalable company from the ground up.
  3. They want to actually make decisions that could impact the growth of the company.

What was your most memorable moment so far?

I think one of the most memorable would be pitching on the first day of the NDRC to the rest of the cohorts. It was an amazing and humbling experience. Surrounded by amazing people is an eye opener and something I won’t forget.

What advice would you give fellow founders for their startup?

I think just getting advice and soaking in as much information as possible. Listening to podcasts and reading books gives you a huge platform to make the right decisions. There are so many meetups with some amazing people that you can learn so much from.

Have a clear goal and execute on achieving that goal. It doesn’t matter how big that goal is just have a clear vision of what you want to do and the process in achieving that vision.



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